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A project manager, a computer programmer and a computer operator are driving down the road when the car they are in gets a flat tire. The three men try to solve the problem.

The project manager said: "Let's catch a cab and in ten minutes we'll reach our destination."

The computer programmer said: "We have here the driver's guide. I can easily replace the flat tire and continue our drive."

The computer operator said: "First of all, let's turn off the engine and turn it on again. Maybe it will fix the problem."

Suddenly a Microsoft software engineer passed by and said: "try to close all windows, get off the car, and then get in and try again."





A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer and a Departmental Manager were on their way to a meeting. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers, until it miraculously ground to a halt scraping along the mountainside. The car's occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: they were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?

"I know," said the Departmental Manager, "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way."

"No, no," said the Hardware Engineer, "That will take far too long, and besides, that method has never worked before. I've got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way."

"Well," said the Software Engineer, "Before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again."





Why do programmers always get Christmas and Halloween mixed up?
Because DEC 25 = OCT 31



How do you keep a programmer in the shower all day?
Give him a bottle of shampoo which says "lather, rinse, repeat."



A system programmer came home from work almost at dawn and told his wife enthusiastically: "Tonight I have installed a new release of MVS/ESA together with VM/CMS and CICS/VS".
"G.O.O.D" answered his wife.



The Programmers' Cheer

Shift to the left, shift to the right!
Pop up, push down, byte, byte, byte!









- "Have you heard about the object-oriented way to become wealthy?"
- "No..."
- "Inheritance."



If you can touch it and you can see it, it's REAL.
If you can touch it but you can't see it, it's TRANSPARENT.
If you can't touch it but you can see it, it's VIRTUAL.
If you can't touch it and you can't see it, it's GONE.



If you can pick it up, it's a PC.
If you can't pick it up but you can push it over, it's a minicomputer.
But when you can't pick it up or knock it over, it's a mainframe.


Once a programmer drowned in the sea. Many Marines where at that time on the beach, but the programmer was shouting "F1 F1" and nobody understood it.




The boy is smoking and leaving smoke rings into the air.
The girl gets irritated with the smoke and says to her lover: "Can't you see the warning written on the cigarettes packet, smoking is injurious to health!"

The boy replies back: "Darling, I am a programmer. We don't worry about warnings, we only worry about errors."





Jack was a COBOL programmer in the mid to late 1990s. After years of being taken for granted and treated as a technological dinosaur by all the Client/Server programmers and website developers, he was finally getting some respect. He'd become a private consultant specializing in Year 2000 conversions.

Several years of this relentless, mind-numbing work had taken its toll on Jack. He began having anxiety dreams about the Year 2000. All he could think about was how he could avoid the year 2000 and all that came with it.

Jack decided to contact a company that specialized in cryogenics. He made a deal to have himself frozen until March 15th, 2000. The next thing he would know is he'd wake up in the year 2000; after the New Year celebrations and computer debacles; after the leap day. Nothing else to worry about except getting on with his life.

He was put into his cryogenic receptacle, the technicians set the revive date, he was given injections to slow his heartbeat to a bare minimum, and that was that.

The next thing that Jack saw was an enormous and very modern room filled with excited people. They were all shouting "I can't believe it!" and "It's a miracle" and "He's alive!". There were cameras (unlike any he'd ever seen) and equipment that looked like it came out of a science fiction movie.

Someone who was obviously a spokesperson for the group stepped forward. Jack couldn't contain his enthusiasm. "Is it over?" he asked. "Is the year 2000 already here? Are all the millennial parties and promotions and crises all over and done with?"

The spokesman explained that there had been a problem with the programming of the timer on Jack's cryogenic receptacle, it hadn't been year 2000 compliant. It was actually eight thousand years later, not the year 2000. Technology had advanced to such a degree that everyone had virtual reality interfaces which allowed them to contact anyone else on the planet.

"That sounds terrific," said Jack. "But I'm curious. Why is everybody so interested in me?"

"Well," said the spokesman. "The year 10000 is just around the corner, and it says in your files that you know COBOL".









APL is a write-only language.

In C we had to code our own bugs. In C++ we can inherit them.

C gives you enough rope to hang yourself. C++ also gives you the tree object to tie it to.

With C you can shoot yourself in the leg. With C++ you can reuse the bullet.

A computer without COBOL and Fortran is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard.

PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or Fortran.






The most important thing in the programming language is the name. A language will not succeed without a good name. I have recently invented a very good name and now I am looking for a suitable language.
D. E. Knuth, 1967


Why all Pascal programmers ask to live in Atlantis?
Because it is below C level.



Have you heard they are developing an Object Oriented version of COBOL? It's called...
Bruce Clement, SIGPLAN Notices, 1992


Programming Languages are Like Cars

Assembler: A formula I race car. Very fast but difficult to drive and maintain.
FORTRAN II: A Model T Ford. Once it was the king of the road.
FORTRAN IV: A Model A Ford.
FORTRAN 77: a six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts.
COBOL: A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly but it does the work.
BASIC: A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch it as soon as you can afford a new one.
PL/I: A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield.
C++: A black Firebird, the all macho car. Comes with optional seatbelt (lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to assembler).
ALGOL 60: An Austin Mini. Boy that's a small car.
ALGOL 68: An Aston Martin. An impressive car but not just anyone can drive it.
Pascal: A Volkswagon Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once popular with intellectual types.
liSP: An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not available.
PROLOG/LUCID: Prototype concept cars.
FORTH: A go-cart.
LOGO: A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working horn.
APL: A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same place all at the same time but it drives only in reverse and is instrumented in Greek.
Ada: An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes, and automatic transmission are standard. No other colors or options are available. If it's good enough for generals, it's good enough for you.
Java: All-terrain very slow vehicle.





What is an example of a never halting program?
Friedrichs and Magnus in front of an open elevator, each saying "you go first".



Why Client Server Computing is like Teenage Sex
  • It is on everybody's mind all the time.
  • Everyone is talking about it all the time.
  • Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it.
  • Almost no one is really doing it.
  • The few who are doing it are:
    • doing it poorly;
    • sure it will be better next time;
    • not practicing it safely.




Life Before the Computer

An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano!

Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3 ? inch floppy
You hoped nobody found out!

Compress was something you did to garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for awhile!

Log on was adding wood to a fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode!

Cut - you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu!

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead!





There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and benchmarks.
Paraphrased after a famous saying by Mark Twain


Software Development Cycle
  1. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free.
  2. Product is tested. 20 bugs are found.
  3. Programmer fixes 10 of the bugs and explains to the testing department that the other 10 aren't really bugs.
  4. Testing department finds that five of the fixes didn't work and discovers 15 new bugs.
  5. Repeat three times steps 3 and 4.
  6. Due to marketing pressure and an extremely premature product announcement based on overly-optimistic programming schedule, the product is released.
  7. Users find 137 new bugs.
  8. Original programmer, having cashed his royalty check, is nowhere to be found.
  9. Newly-assembled programming team fixes almost all of the 137 bugs, but introduce 456 new ones.
  10. Original programmer sends underpaid testing department a postcard from Fiji. Entire testing department quits.
  11. Company is bought in a hostile takeover by competitor using profits from their latest release, which had 783 bugs.
  12. New CEO is brought in by board of directors. He hires a programmer to redo program from scratch.
  13. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free...




A grade school teacher was asking his pupils what their parents did for a living. "Tim, you be first. What does your mother do all day?"
Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."
"That's wonderful. How about you, Amy?"
Amy shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a mailman."
"Thank you, Amy" said the teacher. "What does your parent do, Billy?"
Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy plays piano in a whorehouse."

The teacher was aghast and went to Billy's house and rang the bell. Billy's father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded an explanation. Billy's dad said, "I'm actually a system programmer specializing in TCP/IP communication protocol on UNIX systems. How can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?"





Unix is user friendly. It's just very particular about who it's friends are.







A programmer was walking along the beach when he found a lamp. Upon rubbing the lamp a genie appeared who stated "I am the most powerful genie in the world. I can grant you any wish you want, but only one wish."

The programmer pulled out a map of the Mediterranean area and said "I'd like there to be a just and last peace among the people in the middle east."

The genie responded, "Gee, I don't know. Those people have been fighting since the beginning of time. I can do just about anything, but this is beyond my limits."

The programmer then said, "Well, I am a programmer and my programs have a lot of users. Please make all the users satisfied with my programs, and let them ask sensible changes"

Genie: "Uh, let me see that map again."





All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.



They say that the new super computer knows everything. A skeptical man came and asked the computer, "Where is my father?"

The computer bleeped for a short while, and then came back with "Your father is fishing in Michigan."

The skeptical man said triumphantly, "You see? I knew this was nonsense. My father has been dead for twenty years."

"No", replied the super computer immediately. "Your mother's husband has been dead for twenty years. Your father just landed a three pound trout."






The programmer to his son: "Here, I brought you a new basketball."
"Thank you, daddy, but where is the user's guide?"



The problem with physicists is that they tend to cheat in order to get results.

The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy problems in order to get results.

The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at toy problems in order to get results.





A software verifier read in the Bible that God protects all fools, and decided to test it empirically. He jumped out of the window and broke a leg. There he lies, writhing in pain, and happily thinks: "I never really considered myself a fool, but I never knew I was THAT clever!"



  1. In the beginning God created the Bit and the Byte. And from those he created the Word.

  2. And there were two Bytes in the Word; and nothing else existed. And God separated the One from the Zero; and he saw it was good.

  3. And God said - Let the Data be; And so it happened. And God said - Let the Data go to their proper places. And he created floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks.

  4. And God said - Let the computers be, so there would be a place to put floppy disks and hard disks and compact disks. Thus God created computers and called them hardware.

  5. And there was no Software yet. But God created programs; small and big... And told them - Go and multiply yourselves and fill all the Memory.

  6. And God said - I will create the Programmer; And the Programmer will make new programs and govern over the computers and programs and Data.

  7. And God created the Programmer; and put him at Data Center; And God showed the Programmer the Catalog tree and said You can use all the volumes and subvolumes but DO NOT USE Windows.

  8. And God said - It is not Good for the programmer to be alone. He took a bone from the Programmer's body and created a creature that would look up at the Programmer; and admire the Programmer; and love the things the Programmer does; And God called the creature: the User.

  9. And the Programmer and the User were left under the naked DOS and it was Good.

  10. But Bill was smarter than all the other creatures of God. And Bill said to the User - Did God really tell you not to run any programs?

  11. And the User answered - God told us that we can use every program and every piece of Data but told us not to run Windows or we will die.

  12. And Bill said to the User - How can you talk about something you did not even try. The moment you run Windows you will become equal to God. You will be able to create anything you like by a simple click of your mouse.

  13. And the User saw that the fruits of the Windows were nicer and easier to use. And the User saw that any knowledge was useless - since Windows could replace it.

  14. So the User installed the Windows on his computer; and said to the Programmer that it was good.

  15. And the Programmer immediately started to look for new drivers. And God asked him - What are you looking for? And the Programmer answered - I am looking for new drivers because I can not find them in the DOS. And God said - Who told you need drivers? Did you run Windows? And the Programmer said - It was Bill who told us to !

  16. And God said to Bill - Because of what you did you will be hated by all the creatures. And the User will always be unhappy with you. And you will always sell Windows.

  17. And God said to the User - Because of what you did, the Windows will disappoint you and eat up all your Resources; and you will have to use lousy programs; and you will always rely on the Programmers help.

  18. And God said to the Programmer - Because you listened to the User you will never be happy. All your programs will have errors and you will have to fix them and fix them to the end of time.

  19. And God threw them out of the Data Center and locked the door and secured it with a password.

  20. GENERAL PROTECTION FAULT





CIA - Computer Industry Acronyms

CD-ROM: Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months
PCMCIA: People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms
ISDN: It Still Does Nothing
SCSI: System Can't See It
MIPS: Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed
DOS: Defunct Operating System
WINDOWS: Will Install Needless Data On Whole System
OS/2: Obsolete Soon, Too
PnP: Plug and Pray
APPLE: Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity
IBM: I Blame Microsoft
DEC: Do Expect Cuts
MICROSOFT: Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software Only Fools Teenagers
CA: Constant Acquisitions
COBOL: Completely Obsolete Business Oriented Language
liSP: Lots of Insipid and Stupid Parentheses
MACINTOSH: Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating System Hangs
AAAAA: American Association Against Acronym Abuse.
WYSIWYMGIYRRLAAGW: What You See Is What You Might Get If You're Really Really Lucky And All Goes Well.





Murphy's Laws of Computing
  • When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.

  • When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.

  • The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.

  • When the going gets tough, upgrade.

  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.

  • He who laughs last probably made a back-up.

  • A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.

  • The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.

  • A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want to do.





Ten Commandments for Stress Free Programming
  1. Thou shalt not worry about bugs.

    Bugs in your software are actually special features.

  2. Thou shalt not fix abort conditions.

    Your user has a better chance of winning state lottery than getting the same abort again.

  3. Thou shalt not handle errors.

    Error handing was meant for error prone people, neither you or your users are error prone.

  4. Thou shalt not restrict users.

    Don't do any editing, let the user input anything, anywhere, anytime. That is being very user friendly.

  5. Thou shalt not optimize.

    Your users are very thankful to get the information, they don't worry about speed and efficiency.

  6. Thou shalt not provide help.

    If your users can not figure out themselves how to use your software than they are too dumb to deserve the benefits of your software anyway.

  7. Thou shalt not document.

    Documentation only comes in handy for making future modifications. You made the software perfect the first time, it will never need modifications.

  8. Thou shalt not hurry.

    Only the cute and the mighty should get the program by deadline.

  9. Thou shalt not revise.

    Your interpretation of specs was right, you know the users' requirements better than them.

  10. Thou shalt not share.

    If other programmers needed some of your code, they should have written it themselves.





Drug Dealers and Software Engineers - A Comparison
Drug Dealers Software Engineers
"The first one is free" "Download a free trial version"
Have important South-Asia connections (to help move the stuff) Have important South-Asia connections (to help debug the code)
Strange jargon: "Stick", "Rock", "Dime bag", "E" Strange jargon: "TCP/IP", "XML", "Java", "SQL"
Realize that there's a ton of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market Realize that there's a ton of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market
Job is assisted by industry's producing newer, more potent mixes Job is assisted by industry's producing newer, faster machines
Often seen in the company of pimps and hustlers Often seen in the company of marketing people and venture capitalists
Their products cause unhealthy addictions. DOOM. Quake. SimCity. Duke Nukem 3D.; Enough said.
Do your job well and you can sleep with sexy movie stars who depend on you Damn! Damn! DAMN!




Real software engineers...

Real software engineers don't read dumps. They never generate them, and on the rare occasions that they come across them, they are vaguely amused.
Real software engineers don't comment their code. The identifiers are so mnemonic they don't have to.
Real software engineers don't write applications programs, they implement algorithms.
Real software engineers don't program in a language that doesn't have recursive function calls.
Real software engineers don't debug programs, they verify correctness.
Real software engineers like C's structured constructs, but they are suspicious of it because they have heard that it lets you get "close to the machine."
Real software engineers admire PASCAL for its discipline and spartan purity, but they find it difficult to actually program in.
Real software engineers work from 9 to 5, because that is the way the job is described in the formal spec. Working late would feel like using an undocumented external procedure.
Real software engineers like writing their own compilers, preferably in PROLOG.
Real software engineers regret the existence of COBOL, FORTRAN and BASIC. PL/I is getting there, but it is not nearly disciplined enough; far too much built in functions.
Real software engineers aren't too happy about the existence of users. Users always seem to have the wrong idea about what the implementation and verification of algorithms is all about.





Programming Revisited
  • Windows 95 is a 32 bit extension for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition.
  • Have you heard about the new Cray super computer? It's so fast, it executes an infinite loop in 6 seconds.
  • If God had intended Man to program, we would be born with serial I/O ports.
  • The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
  • The computer is mightier than the pen, the sword, and usually, the programmer.
  • The determined programmer can write a COBOL program in any language.
  • Every program is either trivial or it contains at least one bug.
  • Al-gor-ithm" means "The unscrupulous technique of continuing to count and re-count until you get the result you want." (Sent by Gary Gilmore)
  • Don't get sucked in by comments--only debug code.
  • If cars had followed the same developmental path as computers, a Rolls Royce would cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and crash once a year.
  • If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.
  • Demo-oriented programming: A programming style, typically used by startups, focusing on the demo of the program being developed, so it will easily catch the prospective investor.




How programmers do it...

Programmers do it byte by byte.
Programmers do it with bytes and nibbles.
Programmers try to do it again and again.
Programmers do it with acronyms.
Programmers do it by computer simulation.
Programmers do it according to the specifications.
Programmers do it over and over until they get it right.
Ada programmers do it by committee.
ALGOL 68 programmers do it od.
APL programmers do it in a line.
Assembler programmers do it a bit at a time.
C++ programmers do it with class.
Fortran programmers do it with double precision.
liSP (programmers (do (it (with (parentheses))))).
Logo programmers do it for an educational experience.
Prolog programmers do it artificially.
Smalltalk programmers have more methods.
System programmers do it with interrupts.





    You Might Be a Programmer if...

  • you lust for O'Reilly books.

  • you know that "goto considered harmful".

  • you are looking for the "else" at the end of this joke.

  • you believe that making a wrong program worse is no sin.

  • every combination of three letters is a meaningful acronym for you.

  • when you are counting objects, you go "0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D...".

  • you can remember seventeen computer passwords but not your anniversary.

  • you are sure that the year 2000 is a leap year, and know why it is dangerous.

  • you start laughing hysterically when the topic of computer reliability is brought up.

  • you go to balance your checkbook and discover that you're doing the math in hexadecimal.

  • the language you are best speaking is English, but the language you are best writing is Java.

  • on vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.





How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • None. "We'll document it in the manual."
  • None. It's a hardware problem.
  • 1.000000001.
  • Two. One always leaves in the middle of the project.
  • Four. One to design the change, one to implement it, one to document it, and one to maintain it afterwards.
  • Four, plus one senior analyst to manage the project, one technical writer to correct the spelling and grammar of the one who documented it, one light bulb librarian, a sales-force of at least five to drum up enough users who want to turn the light on, 274 users to burn out the new bulb, at which point we go to tender for another light bulb change,...
  • Five. Two to write the specification program, one to screw it in, and two to explain why the project was late.
  • Only one, but she's not available till the year 2000.
  • "The change is 90% complete."
  • "It's hard to say. Each time we separate the bulb into its modules to do unit testing, it stops working."
  • Of course, as everyone knows, just five years ago all it took was a bunch of kids in a garage in Palo Alto to change a light bulb.
How many maintenance programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • None. They try to fix the old one.
  • "We looked at the light fixture and decided there's no point trying to maintain it. We're going to rewrite it from scratch. Could you wait two months?"
How many software testers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • None. "We just recognized darkness, fixing it is someone else's problem."
How many C++ programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • "You're still thinking procedurally! A properly designed light bulb object would inherit a change method from a generic light bulb class!"
How many Java programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • One, to generate a "ChangeLightBulb" event to the socket.
How many Windows programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • Seventy two. One to write WinGetLightBulbHandle, one to write WinQueryStatusLightBulb, one to write WinGetLightSwitchHandle ...
How many data base people does it take to change a light bulb?
  • Three: One to write the light bulb removal program, one to write the light bulb insertion program, and one to act as a light bulb administrator to make sure nobody else tries to change the light bulb at the same time.
How many IBM employees does it take to change a light bulb?
  • Fifteen. Five to do it, and ten to write document number GC7500439-001, Multitasking Incadescent Source System Facility, of which 10% of the pages state only "This page intentionally left blank".
How many technical writers does it take to change a light bulb?
  • Just one, provided there's a programmer around to explain how to do it.




There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those that understand binary and those that don't.
Russ


Why did the private boarding school reject OO software designer go to work in defence?

Because someone said there would be 'class' warfare!

Radoxme